Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tacoma Smelter Plume: Work begins to clean up contamination on yards in Tacoma

By Jill Jacobson, Outreach Coordinator, Toxics Cleanup Program

Construction fencing and stormwater protection measures are installed before cleanup begins.

Equipment is used to replace contaminated soil with new soil.

What do most people picture when they think of a toxic cleanup site?

Maybe an old rundown factory or rusted metal drums. Not someone's yard.
On Monday, we started cleaning up contaminated soil in 49 yards in Tacoma.

This work is part of Ecology's Residential Yard Sampling and Cleanup Program. The program cleans up arsenic and lead from the former Asarco copper smelter in Tacoma.

Orange fencing, hard hats, construction equipment...

On each site, we bring equipment to the yard and put up orange construction fencing (see photo right). Then we dig out the top 12 to 18 inches of soil and replace it with new soil. Last, we restore the landscaping and maintain the new lawn for 60 days.

Follow our yard cleanup work in 2014...

Questions about the yard cleanup work?

Please call the project hotline at (360) 407-7688
and press 2 for Tacoma Smelter Plume
or email me at

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